17 Feb 2005

Solomons High Court hears expert witnesses in Keke murder trial

11:52 am on 17 February 2005

A forensic scientist and a firearms expert serving with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands have been giving evidence at the High Court trial into the killing of Cabinet Minister and MP for South Guadalcanal, Fr Augustine Geve.

Former militant leader Harold Keke and two of his men, Ronnie Cawa and Francis Lela have been charged with the murder of Fr Geve on 20 August 2002 at Haleatu Village, on the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal.

All three have pleaded NOT guilty.

Scientific Officer Lisa Nicholson gave evidence on her findings after examining the T-shirt that Fr Geve had worn when he was killed.

Ms Nicholson told the court the T-shirt had 11 holes in it that could have been caused by bullets but the evidence was not conclusive.

She also tod the court that it was difficult to determine what type of gun had fired the bullets.

Earlier prosecution witnesses told the hearing that they had seen Keke and his associatescarrying SLR and SR 88 rifles.

The trial, which is now in its third week, continues tomorrow morning.